Even though the USA Olympic Trials were our focus for the last 10 days, other national championships were taking place in the Western Hemisphere and a number of Heps Nation athletes competed at them. Some of these meets were open meets, allowing athletes from other countries to compete; however, these athletes were not included in the Olympic Team selection process.
Heps Nation had three representatives present at the Jamaica National Championships. Natalie Grant (Harvard ’02) won the Jamaican hammer throw title for the 10th straight year, heaving the implement 188-3 1/4. Unfortunately, Grant has not met the Olympic Games B Standard of 226-4 1/4 and has not been selected for the Jamaican national team. It is still quite an amazing feat to dominate an event for 10 years. Other top Jamaican performances include Princeton rising junior Damon McLean placing third in the triple jump (51-5 1/4), Penn alum Darryll Oliver taking third in the 800m (1:48.98), and rising Columbia senior Leighton Spencer winning both the 5000m (15:32.02) and 10km (33:54.60) races.
Our neighbors to the north held their national championships as well this past weekend. Anthony Romaniw finished fifth in the 800m (1:49.26). Romaniw — who redshirted the 2011-12 track season — is transferring from Dartmouth to the University of Guelph for the 2012-13 academic year. Romaniw was an All-Ivy finisher in the Indoor Heps 800m in 2011.
Meanwhile, alumni Adrien Dannemiller and Samyr Laine competed at various athletic meets that also acted as national championships for the hosting countries. Dannemiller (Cornell ’11) competed in both the steeplechase and 5,000m at the Trinidad and Tobago national championship, placing second in both with 8:54.27 and 14:40.29. Laine (Harvard ’06) placed second in the triple jump at the Bahamas Olympic Trials with a distance of 54-10 1/4. Laine has already qualified for the Olympic Games as he leaped 56-0 3/4 in 2011 (Aside, those in the New York City region may have read the N.Y. Daily News feature on Laine competing for Haiti at the 2012 Olympics. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can read it here).
Earlier in June, Harvard’s rising senior Nico Weiler competed in the pole vault at the German Olympic Trials. Weiler finished ninth with a clearance of 17-9.